It would be very easy to watch ten minutes of American television commercials and drown in a puddle of insecurity. Your teeth aren’t white enough, your belly’s too big, your hair needs to be more shiny; buy this pill coz you’re not happy enough. And don’t forget your floppy manhood! I don’t even have a manhood and I started feeling ugly and inadequate. Mwahaha.
Of course we have these sorts of ads in the UK and Australia but it just seems more relentless over here. Then there’s a chick on the cover of a magazine this week who vows she WILL lose ten baby pounds by January, or bust. They had a story about the story on E News, and it seemed like her happiness depends on the removal of these errant pounds.
But apart from the telly, the thing I love about travelling is that it makes me feel small and insignificant. And so aliiiiiiiiiive! Back home over the past few months, I’ve been isolated hypercritical in a way I hadn’t been for years…
(I don’t know why, but when things get dodgy in my life, that negativity can leak onto the ol’ body. I start mentally resculpting, shrinking and smoothing; as if that would make everything else better. I guess sometimes it feels easier to focus on stupid little skin deep flaws than to think about the real issues)
… but over here, scurrying about in this gigantic city, I’ve finally regained some perspective. It’s like the brain has been rebooted and things seem manageable now. I feel good in my skin.
I sent myself a postcard today, because I am a deranged dork. But also, I just wanted something physical to surprise me in a week’s time (or seventeen weeks, depending on the whims of the Royal Mail)… a handwritten reminder to hold on to this Good Feeling again.
In my first few delirious days in New York I thought, "Enjoy the holiday feeling while it lasts", but I think I can bring it back to the everyday grind. I just have to remember not to amplify problems in my head, to stop worrying about things that haven’t ever happened yet, to chill the hell out, really. And to ENGAGE WITH THE HUMANS, darnit! Every time I get down, I disappear into my burrow and lose all perspective. But just a few moments with friends and sunshine and wine and noises and colours and everything feels okay again. I don’t need to fly to fancy cities to do that, but this New York trip has been the most unforgettable reminder.
Sorry this is bloody indulgent and not very weight-lossy, folks… I’m over-excited and sleepy and so bittersweet coz we’re heading home tomorrow. Normal service shall be resumed soon 🙂